Our Hearts Hang from the Lemon Trees, Laetitia Rutherford
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Laetitia Rutherford

Our Hearts Hang from the Lemon Trees

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«I listened to that house breathe and creak through twenty long summers, often bored, or longing to be somewhere else, always ensnared by its charm…" In this captivating memoir, Laetitia Rutherford evokes a vanished world set alight by her enigmatic grandfather and her brilliant but troubled father – two men who never speak. The youngest daughter of a prominent journalist, Laetitia is brought up in genteel poverty in London's Notting Hill, in an eccentric family caught on the cusp between the Thatcher era and an older age of austerity. Her father, in his love of poetry and his coruscating ideas, is a constant source of inspiration but a hard man to impress. In the holidays, she and her sisters and mother leave him for her mother's family in France, where her tempestuous grandmother dominates, and where Laetitia is often left with her beloved but increasingly frail grandfather – “the oldest and the youngest thrown together to keep an eye on each other”. Over twenty summers spent in a villa on the Riviera and a crumbling chateau in the Loire – like the house in London, stuffed with books and fragments of the past – a riveting family drama unfolds, as the secrets of why the two sides never speak and why her father seemed so bizarrely absent are gradually revealed.
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All childhoods come to an end, and all families do too. My family was a divided one, divided by the strangeness of its characters and by endings that came too soon. I started out writing one story, but here I have written another. It is a confession about my family and about myself. It is about how I found solace in the book within this book, and how I came to terms with my memories of what was lost. On this journey, I found both instructions on to how to live and, by an arcane route, I recovered a simple secret of happiness

Все детство подходит к концу, и все семьи тоже. Моя семья была разделенной, разделенной странностями характеров и концовками, которые пришли слишком рано. Я начал писать одну историю, но здесь я написал другую. Это признание о моей семье и о себе. Речь идет о том, как я нашел утешение в книге в этой книге, и как я смирился с моими воспоминаниями о том, что было потеряно. В этом путешествии я нашел обе Инструкции о том, как жить, и, тайным путем, я восстановил простой секрет счастья

ul dinners, her fabulous jewellery. Few came in for such praise; only her other friend, Madame la Duchesse, came in for more. But it didn’t stop the inevitable judgment being slipped in, as to whether the person had ‘pots of money’ and beautiful things ‘en pagaille’, or ‘not
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